Back on June 26 I wrote about a gardenia I was having no luck getting to flower. I think it's time for an update on the struggling emaciated beauty.
In the weeks that followed, I continued to nurse the gardenia. I religiously watered and fertilized it (with Miracid) through the July drought. If you recall, Gentle Reader, I had transplanted it from a round planter that is roughly two feet in diameter. In its new locale--- between the driveway and my neighbor's fence--- the gardenia did have new growth, but none of the large flower buds were interested in opening up. Eventually, one by one, they drooped, yellowed, and easily fell or broke off.
But gardeners by nature are stubborn, and despair is not in our vocabulary. So I decided to uproot the gardenia once again and find perhaps a more compatible spot in the backyard, behind the garage. I had created there several years ago two narrow strips of soil between a row of red patio squares and the lawn. It has the morning sun, filtered through a Chinese apricot tree 6 feet away. Three landscape roses were flourishing nearby---two of which had themselves recovered from something that had inhibited their growth elsewhere. I put the gardenia in front of a yellow daylily and adjacent to the biggest rosebush.
Recent downpours made it less imperative that I water the gardenia as constantly as I had been doing. It wasn't long before I noticed encouraging signs of new growth. So I pruned the dead leaves and stem tips to jumpstart it even more.
The picture I took this morning (above) shows that the gardenia still has a way to go in its renascence. But my outlook is sanguine. After all there are still two plus months in the growing season. My fingers are firmly crossed.
The payoff? All I ask is one solitary, salutary, gorgeously white blossom. Now wouldn't that be something?
Filed under: gardening